Free Toolkit: Apartment Leasing Tips and Tricks for Video Tours
Inside the toolkit:
- Learn how to record an apartment video tour that converts.
- Watch our step-by-step unit recording best practices video.
- Download our 9-point cheatsheet for future reference.
Apartment Leasing Tips and Tricks
Leasing agents have an exciting job, especially during the “lease-up” phase of a brand-new building. The complex is spotless and dust-free. The pool sparkles with nary a blemish. The leasing office is “homey,” a pleasant place to work!
It can also be intimidating. This giant building is full of empty homes. Tenants of luxury apartments have high expectations. Investors have sunk millions of dollars into this gigantic complex. All of them are depending on … you.
Do you really know how to be a successful leasing agent and have what it takes to get the job done?
Relax. This is going to be fun once you master some of these top leasing agent tips, tricks, and best practices collected from top producers around the country. So buckle up and keep reading to learn how to be a good apartment leasing agent with Realync’s apartment leasing tips and tricks!
Leasing Agent Goals
While each individual leasing professional should have goals that are personalized to their skill sets, weaknesses, and property needs, there are some standard goals that can help guide you on the path to greatness as a leasing agent.
The one core leasing agent goal is and should always be to close leases and serve residents. One of the qualities of a good leasing agent is the ability to turn abstract goals into action items. If you need guidance and direction, you and your manager might think about creating a leasing consultant daily checklist for you to stay on task as well.
Smart goals for a leasing consultant might include:
- Prospect Traffic
- How many calls, emails, walk-ins, or tours are you able to schedule? Keep track of the source of each visitor.
- Apartments Leased
- Set weekly or monthly goals for how many new leases you close.
- Closing Ratio
- This is one of the most important leasing agent statistics — what percentage of leads and tours end up signing a lease?
- Average Sales Cycle
- Simply looking at your closing ratio alone doesn’t tell the full story. Tracking how long it takes you to close deals from inbound lead to signed lease is number that can make all the difference for hitting / exceeding your goals.
- Sight-unseen Leases Closed
- Sight-unseen can be tricky, but with the right tools in place, are incredible deals for a leasing consultant. If you struggle closing sight-unseen, a video leasing platform like Realync can make a big difference.
- Service Requests Fulfilled
- If you’re helping with property management, what’s your average response time for service requests or resident inquiries? Move quickly to ensure happy residents!
Leasing Agent Training Checklist
Every new job is an opportunity to learn. Your manager might provide you with a leasing consultant training manual, run you through a program for leasing agent improvements, and recommend leasing consultant books or free leasing agent training modules available online at sites like realync.com.
But your training and learning shouldn’t stop there. Just like your goals should always be changing and progressing, so should you as a leasing agent. Just because you crushed your goals last month, doesn’t mean that next month will be any easier. Think about training as continued growth and continued education to be better, lease more efficiently, and always be the best version of you that you can be for the job.
To create your own leasing agent training checklist, think about including:
- Property Features and Amenities
- If a prospect asks you about the pool policy or the rules for shuffleboard, do you know the answers? Choose one amenity per month to learn everything about and become an expert on your community.
- Company Policies
- This will likely be covered day 1 on the job, but continuing to refresh yourself on company policies and learning them inside and out will show your commitment to your company long-term.
- Real Estate Laws & Fair Housing
- Always changing and always important. Keeping up with the latest Fair Housing and real estate related laws and legislation will ensure that you are knowledgeable and can protect yourself and your community.
- Sales and Closing Techniques
- While it’s great to shop other multifamily communities to see what they’re doing or not doing, think outside multifamily as well. Look at sales professionals in other industries and learn from their best practices as well.
- Resident Service Procedures
- Want to progress from leasing agent to property manager? Immerse yourself in all things property management. Learn from your maintenance team, ask questions, and know / understand all procedures in place for your team.
- Leasing & Property Management Software
- Talk about always evolving! Take time to step back from the systems you use day to day and learn what else is out there. What’s new in the industry? What are your pain points that could be resolved with a new technology or platform?
How To Close A Lease Deal
The single most important part of your job is to know how to lease an apartment. While no two prospects are going to be alike, that’s the fun part of leasing—the constant challenge! And one prospect may want to tour the property three times in person before signing while another may signed on the first phone call completely sight-unseen. You just never know!
To ensure that you are equipped to handle all of the various leasing scenarios that may arise and close deals with even the hardest prospective resident, here are some top tips on how to take a prospect to a signed lease:
- Pre-qualify the Tenant
- Your marketing efforts, when done properly, should do a good job of producing qualified leads for you, but take the step upfront to confirm that the property is a fit in terms of the price range, income requirements, pet policies, and background check items like credit, rental, and criminal history. This could save you and your prospect lots of time and energy if any of the above criteria aren’t met.
- Bring a Checkbook
- You are much more likely to close a lease right then and there if the prospect can easily write a check for the deposit! This is something that not many leasing agents may think to ask for, but it’s bold and can work to capitalize on the time you are spending with prospects.
- Take the Tours to Them
- There are likely to be prospective residents that can’t get to the property because they’re moving from out-of-market or simply have busy schedules. Instead of letting two weeks pass while you wait for them to come visit the property, take the tour to them by either sending personalized videos or hosting a live video tour with them powered by Realync!
- Presume the Close
- Refer to the available unit(s) as “your home” and say things like “when you live here, you will find…” or “after you’ve moved in, we offer…” This is subtle, but helps the prospective resident envision the space as their home.
- Use “Success Stories”
- Using third-party anecdotes from other tenants adds validity to what you’re saying and helps it feel like what you’re saying is a confirmed experience and not just something that you’re telling them. Say things like, “our residents love how…” or “one of my residents discovered that…”
- Unearth Objections
- You know there will be pain points or objections or key questions along the way. Kind of like the pre-qualifying, proactively head off and answer as many questions or objections as you can early in the process.
- Create Urgency
- Does the prospect love a particular floor plan or desire a particular view? Point out that their favorite floor plan could lease up or that the current promotion will no longer be offered at the end of the month. While timelines for moving can rarely be changed too much, their signing the lease doesn’t mean they move in tomorrow. Get them to commit now even though they aren’t moving in for 2 months. One less thing for them to worry about.
- Ask for the Sale!
- This may seem basic, but if you don’t ask, the answer is always no! Shoot it straight and just ask—“Would you like to leave a deposit?,” “Are you ready to reserve your apartment today?,” or “Would you like to make ABC Apartments your new home?”
- Follow Up
- Even if the answer to the above questions is “no” or “not at this time”, that doesn’t mean you write them off and stop trying. Make sure to follow up with personalized messages, video, and other updates to stay top of mind, provide value, and receive updates. Are they moving from out of town? Send them a list of local internet providers that they can research for service. Or do they have kids? Send them a list of fun Summer activities planned in the park nearby.
Leasing Agent Organization Tips
There is clearly no shortage or work that goes into leasing a multifamily community. Leasing up a new brand new community is a big task with lots of moving parts, but continuing to lease and manage a stabilized community comes with its own set of challenges and stresses.
While this may seem very old school, one of the best leasing agent organization tips that we have come across is to prepare a leasing binder. This is a three-ring compendium of information about the community. Each section of the binder should be separated by labeled dividers to access the info easily and quickly.
What goes into it this leasing binder? Here are some of the top ideas we’ve seen in leasing binders:
- Floor Plans
- Not just for websites. Having the layouts and pictures of each individual floor plan is key. Don’t stop there though. Make sure that you have all of the key measurements and notes on features and variance for those units as well. It may be best to leave availability and pricing to the technology platforms for real-time information though.
- Site Map
- Not just for the vendors that visit and might get lost on your property. Having a site map helps identify where a particular apartment unit is in reference to amenities, parking, views, and more. This a great resource to walk through with onsite visitors.
- City and Neighborhood Maps
- Going beyond the walls of your property are a key part of any leasing process. People want to know what is in the area, the best routes to work, how far the nearest grocery store, and more. Include reference notes like public transit routes, school information, and nearby parks, restaurants, and more.
- A Current Leasing Report
- While having an updated system that easy to access and that tells you which apartments are available, when, and for what price, having this information on paper can save lots of time ‘behind the screen’ when prospects are physically there with you and looking for quick access to information.
- A Rental Application
- While most communities are going digital with applications, having one available in your leasing binder can be beneficial, in case the prospective residents needs to grab one and go, or would prefer putting pen to paper versus filling it out online.
- A Three-ring Pouch
- Simply typing that takes us back to middle school, but it’s unbelievable how helpful having a pouch in your binder can be. Storing helpful things like pens, a calculator, and a tape measure means instant access to things that can frequently be very handy during tours and prospect meetings.
Leasing Consultant Skills
When it comes to being a leasing agent, it is typically a well-defined job with a specific set of leasing consultant skills on a resume. If you’re actively interviewing to be a leasing consultant, your manager will be evaluating you for specific leasing agent skills and qualifications.
Evaluate yourself on the following leasing consultant skills and how you might improve each of them:
- People Skills
- You may think that sales skills would be top of the list, but people skills are absolutely at the top. Do you greet customers with a smile? Is conversation easy with you? Do you communicate with care and respect? Do you know how to use telephone techniques for leasing apartments?
- Can you communicate without slang or swearing? Are you punctual, dressed well, and impeccably groomed? Do you treat peers and authorities with respect?
- Can you formulate and follow a detailed plan? Do you fulfill your responsibilities fully? Do you overlook and forget about things or are you on top of things? Do you have leasing binder ideas to stay organized?
- Can you be persuasive? Do you know your product thoroughly? Do you ask for the sale? What are your historical numbers? What’s your sales style? Do you use a leasing agent telephone script to stay consistent?
- Software Proficiency
- Can you use common productivity software like the Microsoft Office Suite? Are you able to learn quickly learn to use unfamiliar software? Do you have experience in multifamily software like RealPage, Yardi, Entrata, MRI, or others?
- Can you follow through? Do you dedicate yourself to professional improvement? Do you commit to a job and keep it or have you bounced around a lot? Do you have higher aspirations in property management or is leasing a placeholder?
How To Get A Leasing Agent Job
Once you get an interview to be a leasing consultant, it is time to prepare yourself for the above questions and more.
By “and more”, we mean researching the community that you will be interviewing to work at. Go into the interview with as much knowledge about the community, the team, and the company as possible. Not only will you be able to speak intelligently about their particular situation, but you’ll also be able to ask informed questions as well.
Here are some common apartment leasing agent interview questions and potential ways to answer them as well:
“Why do you want to be a leasing consultant?”
Possible answers include:
- “I love working with people and finding them a home is so gratifying!”
- “I find customer service fulfilling and love building relationships with residents.”.
- “I enjoy making people’s lives better and providing a safe place to call home is one way I can do that.”
- “I love a challenge and want to improve my sales skills.”
- “I am passionate about luxury apartments and am excited about the product your community has brought to our market.”
“What do you think are your greatest weaknesses?”
Every interviewee dreads this question. Brace yourself, it’s coming. Acceptable leasing consultant weaknesses may include:
- “I’m not good at advanced math.” You will have calculators and systems doing math for you.
- “I can sometimes be too sensitive.” This can be spun as caring for a prospective resident’s needs to find them the right home..
- “I am not always spontaneous.” May seem random, but that simply means that you can be armed and equipped with scripts, plans, goals, and prepared responses.
“What is the most important question to ask a prospective tenant?”
Tricky question! You might think it’s “Have you ever broken a lease?” or “What move-in date do you need?” or “What is your price range?”
These are all important questions to ask, but the most impressive answer is going to be what is most important to the property manager. Do they simply need volume and to close deals as quickly as possible? If so, the answer is, “Would you like to leave a deposit?” If the PM is very focused on getting the right residents in the building and would sacrifice some initial leasing volume for overall retention, then the answer is “What attracts you to our community?” or “Why do you want to live here?”
Either way, always ask for the sale! Even if this exact interview question does not get asked, try to work this into your leasing interview anyway!
Being a successful leasing agent can take work. It can be a stressful, thankless job, but can also be one of the most rewarding as well! Everyone needs a home and you get to be on the front lines helping to make that happen for a select audience of people. If you take any of the above tips and tricks to heart, we hope it helps you excel at your job and take your leasing game to the next level!
If we can impart just one thing to the multifamily industry, it’s to be real! Nothing will lose you a deal quicker than hiding facts or being ingenuine. Be real. Be you. And showcase your community in all its glory as it stands at that point in time. Do that and you will build relationships that last and a pipeline of leads that converts!
If you want to learn more about what we at Realync have learned from working with leasing agents around the world or want to learn how Realync’s video leasing and engagement solution can be the highest converting leasing tool in your arsenal, message firstname.lastname@example.org! We’re here to help!